Infiniti Q50 buyers first to benefit from cutting-edge aircraft-inspired steering technology
By Kyle Lindsay
Wednesday, July 10, 2013 - 13:01
INSPIRED: New steering is cutting-edge
Drivers of Infiniti’s all-new mid-size premium Q50 will be the first to benefit from steering technology inspired by jet aircrafts.
Electronic steer-by-wire technology – Driver Adaptive Steering – will for the first time allow the driver to choose how the wheel feels in their hands.
Light and smooth for manoeuvring, and firmer and more agile for sporty driving and challenging roads, Direct Adaptive Steering makes all options available via touchscreen.
Uniquely in the class, both steering weight and response can be tailored, with all settings memorised for each driver by the Q50.
Like a jetliner, Direct Adaptive Steering benefits from several back-up systems – including a conventional mechanical steering linkage.
Direct Adaptive Steering works by electronically transferring the driver’s input to the front wheels where a high-response actuator drives the steering rack.
By eliminating the mechanical losses that can dull the responses in conventional systems, steering response is faster and vibration at the steering wheel is eliminated.
Steering is adjusted on a touch screen as part of the Infiniti Drive Mode Selector.
Depending on the model, there are up to four pre-set modes plus a personal setting that allows the driver to mix and match effort and response to suit individual driving style and type of road.
A further benefit of Direct Adaptive Steering is that it comes with Infiniti’s latest driving technology, Active Lane Control.
This is unique in using the steering system to keep the car between motorway lane marking.
It ‘magnetises’ the car to within its lane, reducing the need for continuous steering input owing to crosswinds or minor camber changes in the road surface.
Infiniti claim such technology is a key ingredient in making the Sebastian Vettel-tested Q50 ‘one of the most dynamic and exciting sports saloons on the market’.
Vettel, Infiniti Red Bull Racing’s triple Formula One World Drivers’ Champion and Infiniti Director of Performance, helped fine-tune the Q50’s performance and handling.
Direct Adaptive Steering comes with triple-mode back-up, 400,000km of real-world test distance behind it and the back-up of the mechanical steering linkage.
In normal use a clutch disengages this mechanical link so it can never corrupt the steering response.
Direct Adaptive Steering and Active Lane Control will be standard on the Infiniti Q50 3.5 Hybrid and optional on the Q50 2.2d.
Infiniti Q50 models without Direct Adaptive Steering are equipped with electro-hydraulic steering that offers drivers the ability to customise steering weight.
The Infiniti Q50 arrives in the UK later this year.